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May 2016

FIRST WORD

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH ** 712 RANDOLPH ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC ** REVEREND DR. FRANK D. TUCKER, SENIOR PASTOR


PASTOR’S PEN We are moving into an amazing period in the history of America, a time when women are taking the lead in many places that have been previously forbidden. Although the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, the right for women to vote did not bring full political or cultural rights. Our politics and culture often dishonor women and place them in a secondclass status. Even our churches have historically oppressed the status of women and have not provided leadership or support to foster a spirit of equality between men and women. Our nation owes so much to our mothers and all the women who have fought and continue to fight for the progress of our country. Hillary Clinton has become the leading candidate for President of the United States. With a rare set of credentials and experience, she is perhaps the best person to come to this threshold of the Presidency. In addition, she bears the perspective of a mother and grandmother. In this period of cultural change, we pause to celebrate our appreciation for the contributions of women in society. We stop to pay tribute to all mothers. Let us honor our mothers for the love they have given us so that we could enjoy the blessings of life. On Mother’s Day, May 8, mothers attending our services will receive a special gift. Please consider the joy of your mother as she shares time in worship with her loving son or daughter. We thank God for the powerful women who serve our church. On Sunday, May 15, we salute the great women of First Baptist Church. They are mothers, sisters, caregivers and providers whenever necessary. We owe our women all that we have to show appreciation for the support, loyalty and love shown by their sacrifice and faithfulness. The month of May closes with a tribute to all persons who have labored and made the final transition. We thank God for allowing us to benefit from their love and sacrificial service while they walked among us. Our church and lives are the better because they gave of themselves. I know you can remember some blessing you received or word that has inspired your journey. Your burdens are lighter because of some insight provided by a saint who has crossed over to the other side of the river. At each Worship Service on Sunday, May 29, 2016, we will pay tribute to each member who made their transitions during the previous 12 months. I hope each of us will make a special effort to be present and give thanks for Christian soldiers who fought the good fight, finished the course and are now at rest. Let us continue to run our race with full conviction that the victory is assured. Let us not be weary with well doing. Don’t give up because the road is rough or the going gets tough. Remember, the battle is not yours—it is the Lord’s.

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“LESSONS ON MOThERhOOd” (Reverend Donald D. Robinson and Deacon Bruce Roberson)

A few years ago Charles Barkley formerly, of the Phoenix Suns was asked is he a role model for youth. He responded by saying…., “no, I am not a role model! He went on to say…. “Youth should not emulate me.” He said, “The teacher, the mailman, friendly neighbors, your pastor, your father and your mother are your true role models. The people who positively touch your lives on a daily basis are your true “role models.” In this mother’s day season, who can we look to, who can show us an example of what it means to be a “Good Mother”! In the Gospel of Luke, The Angel Gabriel has spoken to Mary who is betrothed to Joseph. He tells her she has been highly favored by God and will soon become pregnant with the Savior of the world. She responds, but I have not been with a man. The Angel says, but the Holy Spirit will enter your womb and the power of God will overshadow you. And the one to be born in your womb will be the “Son of God.” Unbeknown to Mary, it seems God had determined it was time to rescue mankind, to bring humankind to a closer relationship with Him. God entered our human experience at the most fundamental level of human development. He came as an embryo! Yes, Jesus, “The Second Adam” was entering our plane of existence to reverse the process that began, as a result of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace! Down through the ages God did many things, with many persons to get our full attention and to remind us that “He” truly loves us! God previously sent Moses with the laws, the prophets, judges and kings. However, people still did not understand God’s love and His Plan for our salvation. Therefore, God needed a special human vessel to deliver Himself to the World…God chose to use the womb of Mary! Perhaps, the question is asked, of all the women in the world, why Mary? What made her so unique for this divine assignment? When corporations, chose people for leadership or special assignments, they form a search committee. The Committee’s task is to assess what particular job needs to be done, develop a job description, and then form a list of qualities needed to get the job done. Then the committee looks for people with these qualities. We don’t know exactly why God chose Mary, which is part of His Divine will and His Divine prerogatives. However, let us look at some possible characteristics which may have prompted God to use Mary! First, Mary had an open mind. She was spiritually open to something new and different. Mary was open to hear the will and word of God. She had dialogue with the Angel, she didn’t run, she didn’t hide, but sought clarity of God’s will for her life. What would you do, if you had a visitation from God, or from an Angel? How would you respond? Many medieval artists have captured this scene on canvas. They portrayed the Holy Spirit entering Mary’s ear to indicate her receptivity and openness to the will of God! If we are going to do God’s will, we have to quiet ourselves and be patient, that we can hear “the still quite voice” of God. We cannot make God speak to us, we have to always settle our hearts and our minds and be open to him. Often in spring we see butterflies fluttering around, we try to capture them with our hands, but to no avail. Page 3


“LESSONS ON MOThERhOOd” Cont’d (Reverend Donald D. Robinson and Deacon Bruce Roberson) When we sit still and become quiet, the butterflies often land on our shoulders and find fellowship with us. Can God fellowship with you today? Are you open, are you still, and are you available? Secondly, Mary was not too busy for God. She was spiritually available. God did not have to make an appointment. God comes and goes when he pleases. God is not restricted by time and space. Nor is He limited to speaking to us on Sundays. Perhaps many of you will say I’m never too busy for God. Jesus gave us a way to find out if we’re too busy for Him. Simply ask yourself, do I have time for my neighbors, the hungry, the widowers, the homeless, young people, the sick, and the imprisoned. God says when you see these people, the least of these, you see Him. If you’re too busy to be available for God’s people, perhaps you’re too busy for God. Mary’s pregnancy was a major interruption of her normal lifestyle, she could have aborted or she could have hid from God. But she didn’t! She listened to the Angel, made herself available, than obeyed God. Are you available to serve, to do God’s will? Can you stop today and do “His” will right now? Lastly, Mary was expectant – She was anxious to hear from God. She was anxious to do His will, she was expectant. When you come to church, do you expect God to manifest His glory? Do you come regardless of who’s preaching? Do you come regardless of whose singing? When you pray, do you expect an answer to your prayer or is your prayer perfunctory, or out of ritual, or custom. When we come to church, we should be expectant. We should expect that something great and unusual will happen every time we talk to God. We should be anxious for God to respond to us. In fact, we should strive to have a life of faithful obedience just like Mary did! God chose her because she was a virgin, in the lineage of David, she was open, available to be interrupted and she was expectant. What about you? Are you open to His Will? Are you available and are your expectant of His promises. Mary is a good example of a “Lesson on Motherhood”! She was open, available and expectant of God. She’s an example of what God desires from each of us! Who’s your example of what it means to be a “Good Mother”? Think about it, then wish as many women and mothers a very……..

“hAPPy MOThER’S dAy”! From All of the Men of First Baptist Church!

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“MiSSiONARiES ON ThE MOvE iN ThE MONTh Of MAy” (Sister Colleen Sweatt, President, Missionary Ministry) The First Baptist Church Missionary Ministry will hold their “Annual Salute To Mothers” celebration on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 1:00 p.m., until 3:00 p.m., at First Baptist Church (712 Randolph Street NW, Washington, DC). This event promises to be a great time of fun, fellowship, feasting celebrating and honoring mothers and caregivers! A delicious lunch meal will be served. Therefore make plans to come, celebrate and enjoy! It has been expressed by some that Mothers and Caregivers are those special persons or angels, who have been assigned by our Heavenly Father to nurture, care for, watch over, protect and to love people, especially children. These persons have a unique way of teaching children that God is love, as well as, the difference between right from wrong. Additionally, Missionaries will be going to the Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home to worship, serve and fellowship with the residents there on the first Sunday, 2:00 p.m., until 3:00 p.m., of each month. On first Sundays and during the week the Missionaries will also visit the sick and shut in members. As you share in “The Mother’s Day” observance, please consider this thoughtful poem by Julia Hunt! “ThANk GOd fOR OuR MOThERS” If life was without water, where would we be? If life was without mothers, there would be no you or me. We all need to take hold, of how life really is, and not to take for granted the gift of love and the ability to give. Thank you God for creating us all, and for giving us our mothers, that we can stand proud and tall…. By Julia Hunt

“Happy Mother’s Day” to all Mothers and Women who are Caregivers!

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“yOuTh NEwS, yOu CAN uSE” (By Sister Kareema Robinson and Minister Reggie Williams) Encouragement for our 2016 Graduates: High School graduation is a very exciting time in the life of our youth. As a result, the youth leaders would like to take this time to congratulate our youth on all of their many accomplishments. We want to also remind youth that although this is a great accomplishment, it is only a new beginning, which is one more big step in their earthly life. The direction we want to encourage youth in is one which will affect their life long spiritual journey. This journey involves Christ, His church, their personal salvation and service to humanity. As youth enter this new phase of their lives, pray that God will give them wisdom, understanding and direction regarding the decisions they will of necessity need to make. Also, pray that God will give youth the moral courage, spiritual wisdom and stamina to live the kind of life, so that those around them will know that they are people with genuine integrity and high moral character. Through their love for God and dependence on Him, God can and will make every provision for them. We wish each young person much success, joy and abundant blessings as they set forth on their next ventures. As a reminder, daily reflect upon the wise words of Proverbs 3:5,6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths”!

Ÿ Our 2016 Youth Excellence Banquet will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. Registration forms must be submitted to Minister Reggie or Sister Kareema Robinson no later than May 8, 2016. Forms have been emailed to parents, if you did not receive one, please see any youth leader. All post-high school graduates who wish to be recognized at the banquet and on graduation Sunday must make sure Minister Reggie has their information. High School seniors can invite up to four guests to the banquet. However, due to limited space all other persons may only invite one guest. All guest names should be listed on the back of the registration forms. Those who need additional guest or FBC members who do not have school age children and would like to attend must contact Sister Kareema Robinson.

Ÿ Our Girl Scout troops had an exciting month in April, as they participated in the Annual Cherry Blossom Parade with Congressional Representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton. They also spent a weekend camping at Brighton Woods campsite in Maryland. Page 6


“yOuTh NEwS, yOu CAN uSE” (CONT’d)

Our troops and leaders at Brighton Woods Campsite (Above).

FBC YOUTH STAR OF THE MONTH Tobias Williams Robinson Tobias attends Thomas Pullen Performing Arts Academy and is on the third quarter honor roll with a 3.3 GPA. He recently played the Prince in Return of the Glass Slipper at Spaulding Library, under the direction of Claudia Pearson (daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pearson). He recently competed in the Prince George’s County Music Festival with a string quartet, he received a top score and he played the violin. In February, his artwork was chosen and displayed at Prince George’s Mall, as part of the Prince George’s County Public Schools Art Exhibit. Recently Tobias performed with the Cherry Blossom Festival Children’s Choir through Joyful Sounds, Inc. (Mrs. Pearson’s School for the Arts) This event was televised on channel 7 and live streamed on wjla.com. On May 2, 2016, Tobias will try out for Peter and Wendy, at the Missoula Children’s Theater (his second year). If chosen, he will have to practice all week in preparation for two performances on Saturday, May 7th at Harmony Hall in Fort Washington, Maryland. Tobias is a member of our FBC youth choir, which is directed by his mom, Sister Darlene Williams. When you see Tobias be sure to congratulate him for his many accomplishments.

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“yOuTh NEwS, yOu CAN uSE” (CONT’d) Senior Profiles Michaela D. Thomas Michaela Denise Thomas, visionary, optimist, singer, dancer, soccer player, photographer, planner, makeup artist and bit of a Bible scholar. She is not a person who settles for anything mediocre, she only settles for the best. She works hard to achieve the dreams she knows she can achieve. She has engaged in various mission activities throughout the years such as: helping hurricane victims in Pennsylvania, doing repairs and painting for her school, volunteering at the local community and at the Boys & Girls camp in Maryland. She has also been engaged in feeding homeless families at the Men’s Shelter, providing literacy activities for young children and even serving as a camp counselor in Detroit, Michigan. Michaela is a senior at Grace Brethren Christian School in Clinton, Maryland, she is on the Director’s List with a 4.13 GPA. She is number six in her senior class ranking. She is a member of the yearbook staff, serving as photo editor. She has performed in many school and community plays, most recently she starred as Wendy in her school’s production of “Peter Pan.” Michaela wants to pursue a double major in Theatre and Journalism. She wants to become an actress and also be an inspiration to many, that others can be motivated to achieve their goals no matter what their circumstances are. She also wants to portray wholesome, positive images for youth. Michaela’s high goals and dreams are the reason she takes school so seriously. She states: “No one is willing to listen, if one is not well educated.” That is why she has consistently been on the honor roll. Her biggest accomplishment was in her 11 th grade year. Not only did she achieve all A’s but she was awarded 5 academic pins, which are given to the top three students in each subject. She was on the Varsity Girls Soccer Team, the spring drama production, the yearbook, her school’s praise team and the school’s choir. She did all this while maintaining a 4.1 GPA. She was so proud of herself, but what made her heart even happier was the fact that her parents were proud of her too! Michaela has been accepted for admissions into the University of Maryland, the University of Tampa and the University of Southern California with admittance in their Dramatic Arts Program. Her dream has long been to matriculate to California, (the acting capital of the world). We’ll just have to wait and see what God has in store for her? Although, in her mind there is no question where her destination is!

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Avery Marcus Kelsey The son of Amelia B. Kelsey and the late Allen Keith Kelsey Sr. Avery is a graduating senior at Largo High School; Largo, Maryland. He plans to attend college or enlist in the U.S. Air Force as an aspiring Air Traffic Controller. Avery is a mathematician, well known public speaker, an outgoing person in school and his community. He has volunteered with at risk youth, served as a Big Brother and mentor to three of his extended family members. In addition he has volunteered at the DC Food Kitchen and been a Student Assistant Coach for the Largo High School Girls’ Volleyball team. Avery has been recognized as an outstanding player for the Largo High School Varsity Basketball team and is a member of Air Force ROTC. His hobbies include playing the saxophone and the piano. Avery is a member of First Baptist Church and serves as a member of the Junior Deacon Board and the Junior Ushers Board, where he serves as Chaplin. Avery is a gifted and talented young man who is determined to do what it is necessary to reach his goals and make a positive difference in his life and the lives of others.

Kenna M. Brooks Kenna attends Benjamin Banneker Academic High School and anticipates graduating in June 2016. Kenna’s future career is to become a veterinarian; she is currently a student aid at Little Rascals Doggie Day Care. Kenna is the fourth child out of seven and is the daughter to Kenneth and Gina Brooks. Kenna has been part of the First Baptist Church congregation all of her life and is a very active member in the church. She is a member of the FBC Junior Deaconess board, our liturgical dance team, (“The Spiritual Movers”), Girl Scouts, and has participated in the College Prep Ministry. The activities she is involved in outside of the church includes the Benjamin Banneker Track and Field team, where she happens to be ranked 5th in the state. Her 4x200 team was ranked 1 st in the state for the year 2015. In addition, she plays for the Benjamin Banneker Volley Ball team, who was ranked 3 rd overall in 2015. Kenna who is an honor student, also had the pleasure of being a part of a group of students who met with First Lady Michelle Obama to discuss ways to encourage youth to play a more serious role in college attendance and graduation. Kenna is a role model not only to her younger siblings but also the youth at First Baptist Church. She is very ambitious, cheerful, faithful and is a kind-hearted person. Kenna believes youth should not be pushed by their problems, but led by their dreams. She also knows through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ anything is possible. He pushes us to go above and beyond our limited expectations! Kenna excelled in the following courses: Computer Application, AP World History, Health, AP and Environmental Science and D.C. History. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

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“ThE MEN Of fBC ARE PuTTiNG ON ThE RiZT”! (Reverend Donald D. Robinson and Deacon Bruce Roberson) In the award winning movie and novel, “The Great Gatsby,” highbrow, high-end, children of the rich and famous, merrily danced the night away under the stars. In fact, these party people danced as if they didn’t have a care in the world. This frolicking and gaiety seemed normal to some but was peculiar to others! These extravagant soirees were peculiar because this merry making occurred at the close of “The Roaring Twenties” and the beginning of “The Great Depression”! A time when thousands of people were very poor, hungry and had no place to live! Often these “high brows” danced the night away to a familiar song entitled, “Putting On The Ritz”! This song implied that something unusual, ritzy and extravagant was going to take place. Therefore, you couldn’t miss this event, nor could you wear your average clothing to it. You had to step it up, you had to put on your best; you had to “Put on the Ritz”! Well, early Saturday morning, (May 14, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.) the Men of First Baptist Church (FBC) (who generally have their monthly breakfast during this time) are going to change their clothes in honor of “The Women of FBC.” They are not going to put on silk ties, fancy hats, designer made tuxedos, flashy suspenders, or skinny spats. No, “the men” will be putting on “God’s garments of righteousness, that they can more ably serve “the Women of FBC” with grace, dignity and spiritual gladness. In other words, they’ll be putting on God’s version of “Putting On The Ritz”! As a result, women, men, boys and girls are welcome and invited to share in a wonderful morning of food, fun, fellowship, music and inspiration. Sister Novella Bridges will be the featured speaker and the music will be provided by the vocally gifted women of First Baptist Church! The men of FBC are excited and relish the opportunity to express love, respect and kindness to the women through gracious service. Therefore, if you are a man or boy of FBC and you’d like to dress up and look spiritually ritzy, here’s your chance to be clothed in some of the finest spiritual garments in the universe. God’s divine garments of righteousness include: the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the spirit and shoes tied by the Gospel of peace! The President of the Men’s Ministry, Bruce Roberson is looking for you. He’ll assist you and help you to get ready, as you prepare to “put on your new garments” of “righteousness”! Let’s clothed ourselves in “The Righteousness of Jesus The Christ,” as we “Put On The Ritz” in honor of the Women of FBC! Then on Sunday, May 15, 2016, the Congregation of FBC will celebrate all of the Women of FBC at both the 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services. The 8:00 a.m. worship service preacher will be The Reverend Dr. Regretta Ruffin, Senior Pastor, Greater New Saint Paul Baptist Church, Washington, DC. The 11:00 a.m. preacher will be The Reverend Tamieka Nicole Gerow, Associate Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Spring House, Pennsylvania. Page 10


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~May Events 2016~ Communion Sunday Sunday, May 1, 2016 – 7:50 A.M. and 10:50 A.M. †

MiSSiONARy MOThER’S dAy SALuTE Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. †

MOThER’S dAy Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 7:50 A.M. and 10:50 A.M. †

wOMEN’S dAy BREAkfAST Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 9:00 A.M. Speaker: Sister Novella Bridges †

wOMEN’S dAy Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 7:50 A.M. and 10:50 A.M. ____________________________________ 7:50 A.M. Preacher – The Reverend Dr. Regretta Ruffin Greater New Saint Paul Baptist Church Washington, DC

10:50 A.M. – The Reverend Tamieka Nicole Gerow Bethlehem Baptist Church Spring House, Pennsylvania

Memorial Service Sunday, May 29, 2016 7:50 A.M. and 10:50 A.M. †

First Baptist Church 712 Randolph Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20011 (202) 541-5000 ~ Fax: (202) 291-2565~Email: fchurch@1fbc.org

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